MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama Senate committee has approved a bill that would extend unemployment benefits to state workers for an additional 20 weeks.
The Senate Finance and Taxation-Education Committee approved the bill that would use federal stimulus money to continue to pay benefits to unemployed workers after the initial 59-weeks of unemployment insurance has expired.
The sponsor of the bill, Democratic Sen. Rodger Smitherman of Birmingham, said the bill allows the state to accept about $65 million in federal money to extend the benefits.
The bill was part of Gov. Bob Riley's call for a special session this week.
Smitherman said extending the benefits will help unemployed Alabama residents who are still struggling to find a new job in the recession.